This is a great dough to work with and the fillings are really limitless. Mount Pelion, which took its name from the mythical king Peleus, father of Achilles, is considered one of the most beautiful mountains in Greece. The local cuisine specializes in charcuterie, and a hearty stew called, spentzofáï. These little breads resemble a Mount, and would be a perfect accompaniment to either the charcuterie or a stew.
The dough is a dream to work with. It goes together easily an is quite a soft dough. Feta is the filling of choice. But, you know The Goddess. She can never just leave things alone. I filled one with feta alone, one with feta, black olives and chopped orange peel, one with feta, black pepper and red onion and one with feta and black pepper…the coarse stuff.
The trickiest part of the these loaves is the stuffing and coiling…and even that isn’t really that difficult to grasp. What we’re doing is making a stuffed tube of dough, that we make by pinching the edges together over the filling, turning them seam-side down and forming them into a nice tight little coil. Then we tuck the end under…it’s stays put better, if you dampen the end slightly, then tuck it under.
I topped them with an egg glaze that “glued” on the seeds and black pepper. The Spicy Honey and I shared one, because you know shared food just taste better!
We had it warm, with our own little charcuterie, and a bowl of Johnny Appleseed Tomato Soup. Perfect for a chilly fall day!
Mount Pelion Cheese Bread
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dry milk powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 3/4 cup very warm (120°F – 125°F)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/4 cups strong white bread flour
- 1/2-3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (coarsely crumbled)
- 1-2 teaspoons very coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup halved, pitted black olives (optional)
- Very coarsely grated orange zest (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh dillweed (optional)
- For Glazing:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- For Garnish:
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Coarsely ground black pepper
Place the all-purpose flour, salt, dry milk powder and instant yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir everything together, coating yeast with flour. Add the water; beat for 1-2 minutes, with the paddle attachment. Add the honey, oil, and egg white. Add bread flour. Using the dough hook, mix until the dough comes together. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue beating for about 6 minutes. The dough will form, but will be soft, and sticky dough.
Shape (or push) the dough into a ball, leaving it in the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to raise, in a warm place, for about 35-45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment; brush with olive oil; set aside.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle that’s about 2 1/2-inches wide by about 10-inches long; it should quite thin, about 1/8-inch thick. Crumble a chunk of feta (a little smaller than a golf ball) lengthwise, along the center of each rectangle. Bring the dough together; pinch the edges together around the cheese to form 4 long rolls. This is easier if you dampen the edges a bit. With the seam side down, coil the rolls into individual spirals, tucking the loose end under and pinching it a bit. Place, each coil, well spaced, on the cookie sheet. Using a fork, beat the egg yolk and water together. Brush the tops with some of the mixture. Sprinkle with cracked pepper or sesame seed. Set aside to raise until double in volume, about 30-40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake for 30-35 min, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. These are best serve warm. They freeze very well.
NOTE: You may add any one or two of the following: finely minced scallions, coarsely chopped black olives, finely julienned orange zest, fresh dillweed or oregano…the possibilities are delicious abundant!
Mount Pelion Cheese Bread Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.